Skip to main content

tv   Dateline NBC  NBC  August 7, 2009 9:00pm-11:00pm EDT

9:00 pm
i remember thinking, nobody knows that i'm going to die today. >> she is in disguise and maybe in danger. >> he said to me, i will come after you. >> the only survivor of a killer o's stalking a mall. the victims? moms and their kids. >> please help us find this monster who did this to my darling daughter. >> reporter: three murders. are they related? her attacker, a jekyll and hyde. meek one moment, murderous the next. >> he is such a control freak. >> reporter: so bold that he strikes in broad daylight and
9:01 pm
his signature is eerie. handcuffs. >> he handcuffed my wrists. >> reporter: zip ties. >> and zip-tied my ankles together. >> reporter: swimming goggles. >> just hysterical. >> reporter: how many more moms might be in danger? >> it haunts me every day. >> reporter: tonight -- a new twist in the case. "terror at the mall." she was a true lady. she definitely had that air about her. >> reporter: lovely, wise. she led a sophisticated life as a diplomat's life, then left it all. a leap of faith she made for love. >> it was a soap opera. people couldn't get enough. >> reporter: her new husband, mysterious. >> tattoos, rode a motorcycle. he had e-mailed her that he was this top secret fbi agent. >> reporter: he was a man of secrets and soon there was another one. his new wife had disappeared. >> carpet missing, tape on the wall. something certainly was not right. >> reporter: what happened to
9:02 pm
rosemary? and to a second woman who also transformed her life for love. was she in danger, too? >> the detective said someday you'll be next. >> reporter: someone held the key to this mystery. >> this was the heaviest burden i had ever carried. >> reporter: would he ever unlock it? "roses mary and the motorcycle man." >> good evening and welcome to "dateline." i'm ann curry. tonight an urgent case. police are looking for a killer who strikes and disappears. his targets are mothers? their suvs and for shopping at e mall. one victim has survived and she may hold the key to his capture. here's dennis murphy. >> reporter: on a steamy august afternoon in south florida, the mall, like malls anywhere, can be a place to escape. an everyday christmas of possibilities in the upscale
9:03 pm
shop windows. for some people, it's an air conditioned main street where they can let their brain slip out of gear for a while. >> a lot of mothers go there with their kids to walk around, get them out of the house. >> reporter: this woman, call her jane, as in jane doe, is speaking in disguise because of the terrible things that happened to her one day after she and her young son had a nothing special wander in the mall near boca raton. while she was shopping, buying a fashion baseball cap, spraying on perfume, someone was out in the parking lot waiting, watching, on the hunt for vulnerable women. he must have locked on jane as she and her exited the mall at nordstrom about 1:00 that day. she was doing the usual mother's juggling act as she popped the hatch of her black suv. >> i put my son in first, strapped him in the car steet. >> he's in back. >> yes, in the back. then i go to the back of the truck and i put the stroller in, shut the gate, and start walking
9:04 pm
to the front. that's when i hear my son an he's, like, mama, mama! i could tell he's worried or scared. that's when i look in to see if he's okay and there's a guy sitting there. >> reporter: a guy in a floppy hat, wrap-around shadin shade s in her suv next to her 2-year-old. that moment, how terrifying is that? >> i was in shock at that moment. i just stood there and the guy said, get in the car. i was frozen. when he said "get in the car"or for the second time, that's when i noticed the gun. >> reporter: the gun is pointed at her son. the man in the hat orders her to drive away from the mall and find a drive-thru atm machine. she follows his directions. >> he tells me to withdraw $200. i withdraw $200 and i gave it to him. and then i withdrew another $200 and another $200. and then when i go for the $800, it denies me because i reached
9:05 pm
my maximum. >> yet you must be thinking we're both dead here. >> yeah. the guy had said, just do what i say and i'll take you back to the mall. >> reporter: but he doesn't. he tells her to pull into the slow-moving sludge of midday traffic. her son sitting next to the gunman is lulled asleep. jane at the whe glancing at the car to her left. the other car can't see inside the dark smoked glass windows of her suv. never sees her stark terror. >> i thought of crashing my truck. but then i thought, if i did that, then he might get mad and hurt my son. >> reporter: the gunman orders jane to pull into the rear packing lot of a hilton hotel. he tells her to get out. >> i was begging him not to kill me. he said, i'm not going to. i don't need any more problems than i already have or any more trouble than i'm already in. >> reporter: more trouble? what's this guy talking about? it's all a surreal jumble. one minute you're buying a baseball cap and the next moment you and your young child are
9:06 pm
looking at eternity. >> i remember thinking, nobody knows that i'm going to die today. >> reporter: the gunman wants her to swap seats with him, him driving, her in the back seat with the kid. then bad gets a lot worse. >> i see him pull out a pair of handcuffs. he handffed my wrists behind myack and he pulls out a bag of zip ties, and he zip-ties my ankles together and then zip-ties my neck to the headrest. and he takes out a pair of darkened sunglasses with duct tape, i'm guessing, and puts them on my eyes so now i'm blindfolded. >> speak to me of terror. >> i started losing it, and i started choking, choking myself because the zip tie was so tight. i couldn't breathe and gagging and crying. i was just hysteric cal. >> reporter: whatever she's doing seems to work. her abductor eases up on the zip tie around her neck. >> so he loosened it and he's,
9:07 pm
like, is that better? i'm, like, yes. >> reporter: he pulls into traffic and then abruptly stops again. he has a plastic bag with him. he reaches in and pulls out a knife. i didn't know what he was going to do with the knife. i was crying, please don't hurt me, please don't kill me. he said, i'm not. just stay still. he cut the zip tie off my neck. and that was it. he started driving again. >> reporter: but now jane thinks, whoever this guy is, he doesn't seem to know the local roads. he's managed to get himself onto the toll road, the florida turnpike, and he's steamed at his own error. >> he makes a u-turn and i guess my son's bottle fell and he started crying. and i saw that it went, like, under the driver's seat. so he grabbed it and gave him his bottle and he stopped crying. >> reporter: after two hours of this, him driving the big suv erratically, jane in back, bound by the ankles and hands, blackout sunglasses over her eyes, he stps the vehicle and
9:08 pm
lo and behold they're back at the town center mall where it all started. >> he tells me that he's going to put the zip tie back on my neck and he's going to let me call somebody and tell them that my truck is broken down and that they need to come get me. >> reporter: the guy dials her cell phone. >> i tell him who to call, my son's father. i told him, my truck's broken down. come get me. >> did you assume he was trying to come across as a nice y in a weird way? >> he changed to a nicer guy in a way. sounds kind of weird, but a different person almost. >> but mr. nice and accommodating was still in control. he had a final order for his victim. >> now when the police come i want you to tell them that i'm short, fat and black. he then takes the sunglasses that he had on me off and heut a pair of swimming goggles on me that were blacked out. >> reporter: in the back seat, still bound, strapped tothe rear seat headdiagnosis resrestd
9:09 pm
gone black. >> he said, if i see anything on the news with my face or picture or description, i will come after you. >> reporter: the gunman slammed the doosh ar and he'd be back. the mall was perfect for his kind of hunting. coming up, jane doe tells her terrifying tale to the cops. she's in for a surprise. >> it just didn't seem hey believed what i was telling them. >> reporter: when "terror at the mall" continues. between a simple napkin and say, a pinstripe oxford shirt sleeve. this is thick, juicy, 100% angus beef. an oxford, while stylish, is largely ineffective at removing... melted cheese from about the face and mouth. angus axiom number 57: roll up your sleeves and get down to business. the astonishing new angus third pounders. all angus. all mcdonald's. ♪ ba da ba ba ba
9:10 pm
what do you say to a spin around the color wheel? - to paint with primer already mixed in? - ♪ yeah yeah yeah... - test samples instead of can commitments? - ♪ whoo! - what do you say we dip into our wallets less... - ♪ are you feeling it? - ...and grab ahold of the latest tools out there... - ♪ oh! ...so we can quit all that messing around with extra steps - and get busy turning our doing dials up a notch? - ♪ whoo! ♪ oh! more saving. re doing. - that's the power of the home depot. - ♪ yeah yeah yeah. ismyizon small busspecialist,
9:11 pm
tom. now, i know the catering business but when i walked in here i wasn't sure what i needed. i'm not sure what i need. tom showed me how to use mifi to get my whole team working online, on location. i was like, "woah". woah ! only verizon wireless has small business specialists in every store to help you do business better. you're like my secret ingredient. come in today and connect up to five devices on one 3g connection. now only $99.99 don't soak yourself with a sticky, wet repellent. ( buzzing ) ( boink ) stay dry with off! smooth & dry. its unique powder-dry formula dries on contact. so it's comfortable on your skin -- unlike ordinary repellents. feel the difference with off! family care smooth & dry. wow! feels good on -- ahh... keeps bugs off! ( buzz, swat ) s.c. johnson. a family company.
9:12 pm
the mall gunman had slipped away, but jane doe was still bound inside her idling suv. google kept her from seeing. her son was in her car seat beside her. >> how were you restrained? you were tied at the neck.
9:13 pm
>> yeah. and handcuffed at the back. >> reporter: her son's father was on his way. >> how do you get out of that? >> i had my hands behind me, and i pulled them under my butt and pulled my feet up like this. >> how did you get out from your restraint on the neck. >> i had pulled the goggles up and there was a button right here. i pushed the heftrest p up. i didn't know where he was. i was scared he would see me. at that point i was just, like, i have to go. >> reporter: jane knew the mall and sped to the valet parking stand. >> i pulled p up to the vallette and said, can you please call the police? i was just kidnapped. he just looked at me and was, are you kidding? i said, o. i showed him all my restraints. he called the police. >> reporter: so after an ordeal like jane's, you would think maybe you were finally in the clear when the police showed up. but it hadn't been jane's day from the ve start and snou the cops weren't making it any
9:14 pm
easier. she got the distinct impression that the arriving city of boca raton police officers did not believe her story. not the gunman, not the terrifying ride-around, none of it. >> i don't know. it just didn't seem like that they believed whey was telling them. >> even with the xlaip scrapes e and your arms? >> reporter: the cops checked out the chief handcuffs, zip ties in the back seat and simply didn't believe anyone could get themselves out of any bondage unless it was a setup of some kind. she would have to be a houdini. >> police didn't believe you could get out of that bind you were in, did they? >> no. >> when she recounted her terrifying odyssey, the business about the florida turnpike, they doubted her story even more. the sunpass electronic pass on the windshield hadn't repocorde her entering the toll road. matthew duggen says now the
9:15 pm
town's officer were blowing off the woom woman's story. they treated it as they said in that reagan on gov vauf kind of way. trust but villanueerify. i wouldn't say doubting the victim. ultimately when we catch this guy, it will be evidence against them. >> they have asked you to take a lie detector test, didn't they? >> yes. >> you had been a crime victim. what did they say to you? >> i wasn't going to not do it. i wasn't hiding anything. >> if there was a request for a lie detector test, did that say anything about initial hesitation about believing her? >> we have to be objective in what we look at. if a lie detector was used, it would be another tool. it would just substantiate stories. >> reporter: the boca police did send some crime scene techs out that evening to process the car and gather prints and dna. but the authorities' initial skepticism about jane doe, whether she was trying to run some kind o crazy game on them, meant that as a news story it never got much play. the account of the woman
9:16 pm
abducted from town center mall came with an asterisk attack. termed an alleged abduction. the tens of thousands of shoppers that use this mall every day never heard boo about it. it's as if jane doe had never encountered the gunman in the fishing hat and wrap-around sunglasses. it was only a few days later, an eon in the span of a life blotter news thatw+ detectives were able to confirm jane's story about getting on the turnpike. >> we pulled video records from the toll plazas and we could see her car going through the toll plaza. >> reporter: apparently her sunpass device had simply malfunctioned when it indicated she hadn't entered the turnpike. months went by and jane never heard from the police again. she was just another urban crime victim with a hair raising story to tell her friends and family. >> i just thought that they weren't going to catch him and i didn't think anything was going to come out of it, unfortunately. >> reporter: and then one din
9:17 pm
november, three months after her abduction, she got al from a sheriff's detective in th same county. they were working a case that adme started at the same mall. a an old case. an abduction and the victim had been shot to death. yes, she'd be happy to talk to them. coming up -- had the man in the hat and glasses struck before? >> please help us find this monster who did this to my darling daughter. its revolutionary web os allows multiple applications to run at the same time. - ( thunder and rain ) - millions are using the simply everything plan. - each is saving $1200 over an at&t iphone plan. - ( cash register dings ) together that's billions of dollars. enough to open a dunkin' donuts in space. from america's most dependable 3g network. bringing you the first and only wireless 4g network. get the palm pre. only from sprint. only on the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com. get the palm pre. only from sprint. only on the now network. ♪
9:18 pm
[inner voice] mm-hmmm, been there. oooh, that's a new one! did you just... what? oh... yeah, you did. yeah. check this out. (female narrator) panties that won't ride up. that's the hanes comfort fit promise. thanks. oh no, no that, this is one's mine. oh, but it's my size... no, they're mine.
9:19 pm
introducing new brawny. a towel built with one layer to be even softer and another for added strength. brawny can do it all. how many washes did it take cheer brightclean to get this from dingy to bright? one might be surprised. twelve. no. uh, excuse me! four? one... would think it would take that many washes. ten? man & woman: okay, we got it this time. yes? it's six. seven. why? why is... one-derfully bright, hmm? oh, one... yes, yes! hundred. cheer brightclean.
9:20 pm
9:21 pm
i see his face every day. every day. i still do. >> reporter: the face of the carjacker, the guy who had put a gun to her child and left her shackled in the back seat after forcing her to withdraw $600 from an atm machine. a bad day at the mall for the young mother we're calling jane doe. >> you thought you were dead several times. >> yeah. >> at first the local police didn't entirely believe her story of abduction and terror when it happened in early august. but now in november the palm beach county sheriff's office, another investigative agency, asked for her help in an ongoing investigation. >> they wanted to talk to me randi gorenberg in march. >> reporter: like jane doe,
9:22 pm
randi gorenberg had been at the same boca raton mall before she was shot to death during an apparent abduction. randi was a 52-year-old mother of two married to a successful chiropractor. her mother. >> she was very down-to-earth, very basic, loving daughter, wonderful mother. that was randi. >> reporter: on march 23, 2007, andi gorenbergfft e ff at the town center mall a little before noon. that's her that day in pum sneakers and carrying an expensive purse. an exterior mall camera captured her pausing for a moment to check voice mail on her cell phone. it was 1:00 when she headed to her mercedes. we don't know what happened when she got to the parking lot. mall owners hadn't placed security cameras there. 39 minutes after she was photographed outside thesmall, 911 got a call.
9:23 pm
the caller was saying he seen someone tumble from the passenger side of a black mercedes suv near a county park five miles north of the mall. >> reporter: arriving deputies found that the victim wasn't wearing shoes and yet her expensive jewelry, a cartier watch, a diamond necklace untouched. there was no i.d. on the person. the suv was gone. it would later be videoed by a security camera at a nearby home depot. the abandoned mercedes was found behind the store. the vehicle was registered to a randi gorenberg. the murdered woman now had a name. palm beach county homicide captain jack strenjess. >> when we looked in the vehicle, we found that her belongings were gone. >> and her shoes were missing. >> yes. along with her purse.
9:24 pm
>> the detectives rolled up to randi gorenberg's $2 million home. they found in front of the house a young man they thought was acting strangely. >> walking back and forth smoking a cigarette. >> the young man turned out to be randi's 25-year-old son daniel who had not yet been notified of his mother's murder. the murder investigation was only hours old, but the detectives were displeased that the victim's son gave them an alibi that didn't check out. and had handed over, as requested, the clothes he said he had been wearing that day. only it turned out later they were the wrong clothes. >> police officers don't like to be lied to. >> correct. particularly when we're trying to narrow down the exac timeline, the timeline is critical to this type of investigation. >> reporter: randi gorenberg, dr. stuartgoerenberg left detectives scratching their head when they informed him his wife was dead. >> it was not the typical response from family members when their spouses or kids have
9:25 pm
been killed, mudded. >> reporter: within days of the murder, dr. gorenberg hired a lawyer. he and his son stopped talking directly to the police. the cops were focusing their initial investigation on the usual suspects. in this kind of out of the blue, no known enemies kind of killing. family members. and the husband wasn't making him any less suspicious in the cops' eyes by the way he was acting. >> please help us find this murderer, this monster. >> reporter: randi's mother and daughter called a news conference to ask for the public's help. even though they were in the same building that day, neith dr. gorenberg or his son daniel participated in the appeal. >> were you angry with your son-in-law for not talking to the police? >> i was angry, yes. but people handle things differently. >> the only communication i had of months, he was devastated.
9:26 pm
>> attorney guy fronsten represents dr. gorenberg and his son. he said they had absolutely nothing to do with randi's murder. >> i understand the sheriffs are doing their job. they were trying to run down a murderer. that's what we all want. they were just looking at the wrong people. >> detectives examined the chiropract chiropractor's finances and home life under a microscope. they looked at the son's emotional history. but months passed an the cops were no closer to catching randi's killer. >> into the spring and even the summer the murder of randi gorenberg is a mystery. >> yes. >> then that same summer came the jane doe carjacking at the mall. the boca raton police had given area agencies about the gunman's m.o. and asked detectives to go back through their old files for a possible match. maybe the randi gorenberg killing had its roots at the mall in an abduction like jane doe's. he similarities were obvious, the town center mall, two stylish women, both with big black suvs. >> personally i don't believe in
9:27 pm
a coincidence. i think there's significant connections there with the suvs, the location and stuff like that. >> so it wasn't until november, eight months after the randi goringberg killing, that police finally sat down with jane doe to hear her story from the top. e was looking like the lucky one who got away and her account could be investigative gol jane worked with a police sketch artist and produced this sketch of her abductor, the floppy hat, the wrap-around shades, the bland, regular features. jane felt, though, that the composite hadn't really captured the guy who had kidnapped her and her son. still the detectives were pleased they had something to work with. >> i think she was very brave. she was a very good witness to what occurred. she's been able to provide us with significant information. >> reporter: two victims. but if it was the same perfect traitor in both, why was one victim release and the other cruelly shot to death? and other differences, too. jane doe had been bound with
9:28 pm
handcuffs and plastic ties, blinded with blackout goggles. the murder victim had not been restrained in that same way. and with jane doe, the goal was apparently to steal her money from an atm. but in the randi gorenberg case, that would have been impossible. >> randi did not have an atm card. >> so hypothetically, if her attacker is intent to take her to an atm to withdraw cash and she's saying, i don't have an atm card, he's probably not believing it. >> right. >> but how could that have gotten him so jacked up he ended up killing her? the cops get psychological and theorize it's because mr. control had abducted an uncontrollable victim. >> she resisted, obviously, because she tried to get out of the vehicle just prior to getting shot. >> jane doe, on the other hand, obeyed all his command and made a concentrated effort to talk to him. >> with my son in the car, there was no chance of me to fight back. i couldn't risk his life. >> despite jane doe's valuable addition to the randi
9:29 pm
gorenberg's case file, weeks we went by and th were no closer killer. by then, the christmas decorations had been up at the mall for weeks and in early was back. the hyena returned to the water hole. coming up -- attack number three. another mother with another child. >> she looked sod. t't'iffrighghtenened. l ls it's a looi'll never fget. i'm a little irregular today. don't you eat activia? for my little issues? they're not that bad. summer's no time to put up with even occasional digestive problems. believe me, once they go away, it's amazing how good you feel. announcer: activia is clinically proven to help regulate your digestive system in two weeks. summer's a wastin'... take the activia challenge now. it works, or it's free. ♪ activia - called c.a.r.s. or cash for clunkers. - ( car being crushed )
9:30 pm
offering up to $4500 adibtoward a new car arwwith an eligible traderdn. plus, toyota is offering factory incentives omany models for even more savings. with toyota being the most dependable and fuel-efficient car company in america, it's no wder 25 models in the toyota family qualify. so hurry in to your toyota dealer today. before taking it on, one must study it first. rushing in unprepared may prove overwhelming... with all that juicy, 100% angus beef. there! you found a point of entry! the bacon beckons like a springboard to paradise. one small bite for man... etcetera, etcetera. angus axiom number 11: bring on the baon. the astonishing new angus third pounders. all angus. all mcdonald's. ♪ ba da ba ba ba
9:31 pm
9:32 pm
9:33 pm
it was the most wonderful time of the year, and the retailers at the town center mall in boca raton, florida, couldn't agree more. december 2007. the parking lot was jammed with shoppers. few of them aware th one and probably two women had been abducted from that very place as they got in their suvs. one had been murdered. jane doe was the other who lived to tell the harrowing tale. >> here comes the holidays. you've got to do christmas shopping i imagine. do you think about going back to the mall? >> no. i don't go to that mall. i pretty much stayed out of the malls. >> reporter: a good call on her part because on december 12th the town center security camera took this photo about 1:00 p.m. of a mother and daughter entering the mall. single mom nancy bocicio and 7-year-old joey were shopping for christmas cards. the little girl was regarded as
9:34 pm
her family as a miracle daughter. nancy saes sister joanne remembered her sister thinking once she turned 40 children weren't going to happen for her. >> the doctor said she wasn't going to be able to have any. so when she was having joey she was thrilled. because it was a real miracle. her original due date was christmas day. she was our christmas angel. >> reporter: and what a bundle joey turned out be.be. a center of attention dancing, karaoke singing cutie. but on that december day as they walked past the sony store security camera on the way to the food court, they had only hours left to live. at 3:00 p.m., nancy and joey left the mall through the same exit that randi gorenberg had used on the day she was killed these are the last pictures ever taken of them. we don't see nancy and joey reach their car, a big, black suv, because the owners at the mall had still not installed security cameras out there. they must have been grabbed upon
9:35 pm
reaching the suv. >> within minutes of them being on video exiting the mall, the sheriff's office gets a 911 phone call from nancy's cell phone. there's no dialogue and the phone immediately hangs up. >> reporter: minutes later, nancs black suv is spotted at this drive-thru atm, the same one jane doe had been directed to. she withdraws $500. hours pass without any word about the mother and daughter. then, just before midnight, a security guard at the mall noticed a black suv with its engine idling. inside the vehicle, it was as bad as you'd expect. both of them. >> there was a female and apparently her daughter were dead in the back of a dark suv. >> reporter: the festive christmas ribbons at the mall were joined by strung yellow crime scene tape as captain matt duggen took charge. you're a veteran. you've seen tough stuff.
9:36 pm
how cold, how bad is this mother/daughter? >> i mean, how does anyone describe a moeshlg and daughter being shot at basically point-blank range? >> reporter: family members believe without hesitation that nancy died trying to defend joey. >> i know my sister, and i know to protect joey i know she was fighting. >> reporter: and evidence of her resistance, the cheap novelty store handcuffs used to restrain nancy were broken, an indication that she had struggled to get free. the timeline of the crime was a blank. no one had seen and no cameras recorded the suv returning to the lot. but the unknown person at the wheel had almost certainly been there before in almost identical circumstances. >> nancy had handcuffs on her hands, her feet were tied with tie wraps, she had goggles over her eyes that were plaque e bla and her head had been affixed to the headrest. >> all the signatures of your
9:37 pm
august robber/abductor. >> to a "t". >> there's no question you're looking for the same guy in those two cases. >> no question at all. >> the cops knew what they had. they were going to have to bring jane doe back into the picture asap. >> i got a phone call in the morning telling me that a mother and her child were found murdered at the mall. i didn't even know the words to describe it. my heart sank. i just knew it was him. maybe he was going to murder me and by some chance he just didn't. i don't know why. then i had to deal with him murdering a mother and her child. >> reporter: looking back, joanne, the sister, remembered that she and nancy had even talked about the first incident. >> randi gorenberg was murdered. >> as they casually followed the news, it didn't seem to have had any connection to the boca mall. and few knew anything about the second incident, jane doe's carjacking ordeal. some residents became outraged to learn that a kidnapper and
9:38 pm
killer had savaged women and children apparently at will and the cops hadn't found him. >> this may be one in a string of similar violent crimes submitted by a man or group of men preying on female shoppers. >> reporter: now boca raton was a town deeply distressed with the specter of a possible serial killer hanging over one of south florida's most affluent communities, councilmen were up in arms, shoppers thinking twice before going to the mall. >> i'm afraid to go to the mall, take my kids anywhere. >> the jane doe news was horrifying to nancy's sister. >> it must have been chilling to hear and read the account of the survivor of that abduction, the details about being retrain strained, threatened. you have to wonder, are these the last kinds of words that my sister heard? >> they had to be. i mean, they were tied up also and joey, poor little thick, nge looked so frightened. it was a look i'll never forget.
9:39 pm
>> 7 years old. >> yeah. 7. on her 8th birthday i bought her a coffin. >> and of course the horror in an echo chamber was reverberating most of all for the woman who got away, a woman with her own young child. >> i feel horrible, horrible, for what they're going through. >> jane doe was back p in the police interview room. go over it again. give us detail. who is this guy, exactly? who and where? ing coming up -- police ponder the question, is a serial killer in their midst? >> we put up a couple of pictures of the victims, with is whyree' here. underneath we >> how many more moms might be at risk? but when the moment comes...
9:40 pm
what's going to win? here's to confidence. gillette helps you look, feel, be your best. gillette. the best a man can get. ♪ oh lolli, lolli, lolli.. ♪ ♪ (announcer) treat yourself to a dell inspiron laptop, with intelligent intel processors. dell. yours is herer
9:41 pm
with intelligent intel processors. well, if you'd like your own personal tour of paris, there's an app for that. or, you'd like to figure out the metro, there's an app for that. or you'd like to send a postcard home, there's an app for that too, because there's an app for just about anything. only on the iphone. this is humiliating. stand still so we can get an accurate reading. okay...um...eighteen pounds and a smidge. a smidge? y'know, there's really no need to weigh packages under 70 pounds. with priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service,
9:42 pm
if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. cool. you know this scale is off by a good 7, 8 pounds. maybe five. priority mail flat rate boxes only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship.
9:43 pm
after the mother/daughter murders in december, police had no doubt that jane was telling the truth about her abduction from the same boca raton mall in august 2007. the swimming goggles, the handcuffs, the plastic ties around her neck. everything he had done to jane the killer had also done to nancy bocicio and her 7-year-old daughter joey. >> you know, it haunts me every day. my son and i might not be here today. >> reporter: one skeptical
9:44 pm
police had given jane a lie detector test. now she was their star witness. they reive interviewed her. >> i went through it all again, you know. numerous times. >> reporter: this was the composite police sketch she had come up with, and this is the word picture description that went with it. a man she thought in his late 20s or early 30s, no body hair, someone who could have been at the bar next to you. >> he didn't have an accent, but he could have been hispanic or maybe pacific island. >> about 6 feet tall, not much taller. >> yeah. about 6 feet, regular build. i saw he had a ponytail. >> ponytail long? >> about this long from the base of his back of his neck and it was curly. >> reporter: jane had also told investigators that tucked inside a plastic bag from a shoe store called traffic was a kidnap kit, a well-thought-out set of tools he used to control his victims. but still something wasn't adding up. >> the words thwork that went i committing this crime, the
9:45 pm
planning, the preparation does not equate to the ultimate reward. >> reporter: the killer, after all, got just a few hundred dollars from his victims. now it was a matter of catch him before he trikes again. a reward of $350,000 was offered. the boca raton police and palm beach county sheriff's office formed a task force of nine detectives assigned to the case. behind the unmarked door of the task force office there's a visual reminder for investigators about what's at stake. >> we put up a couple of pictures of the victims with just simple words underneath saying that this is why we're here. >> reporter: the task force determined, after reviewing hundreds of hours of security camera tapes -- >> i was just looking at the different people passing by in front of the store. >> reporter: -- that the man in the floppy hat was not seen anywhere inside the mall following his victims. >> we got at least three clear shots of nancy and joey and we're confident that they weren't actuallystalked while i.
9:46 pm
>> reporter: that means the killer laid in wait in the parking lot pouncing only after they left the mall in broad people around. >> during the christmas season, there's approximately 70,000 people a day go in and out of that mall. >> reporter: thousands of people but just which one had blood on his hands? ller's head. they reasoned that the mall was a place where he operated comfortably. did that mean maybe he was a currentor or former mall emplo, someone who perhaps knew there were no security cameras in the parking lot? detectives ran down hundreds of leads. >> today we received over 850 leads, and we've completed over 90% of them. >> reporter: within days of the mother/daughter murder, one of the most promising leads was a report that nancy's credit cards and cell phone had been found by two homeless men in a vacant lot in an african-american neighborhood in miami 60 miles to the south.
9:47 pm
>> it could have been a tactic he used to send us on a wild goose chase down to miami. it could also be on his way home. it could be a place that he frequents but doesn't live. >> reporter: it wasn't the first time the killer had tried to get police to believe an african-american might be involved in the crimes. remember before he left jane the carjacker told her to lie to police about his description. >> i want you to tell them that i'm short, fat, and ack. >> reporter: but she hadn't done that. she worked with the police artist at refining the sketch. she combed through magazines and went online loong at men's pictures, looking for characteristics that resembled her carjacker. in february, by then six months from her terrifying abduction, jaib sat down once again with a new forensic artist, john mcmahon of the broward county sheriff's office. >> when i was doing that composite, i just felt that i was dealing with a very brave and strong person. >> reporter: unlike the first sketch attempts where the floppy
9:48 pm
hat and sunglasses predominated, this time there was more nuance to the character, like the small ponytail. detective mcmahon had a hard time represelicating the skin t but used bronzing lotion. >> it was very good. >> reporter: soon the sketch was out there in south florida, on wonted posters and billboards. some at the mall where the killer targeted his victims beginning almost a year before. and there's one more incident that's come to light since the murders but it goes back to august at the time of the jane doe abduction. a few days later, here at another boca raton upscale shopping area, miez ner park, a gunman approached a woman in a parking garage and demanded she take him to an atm machine. if she was the same carjacker, then on this day his target would escape altogether because she wasn't getting in the car
9:49 pm
with him. >> she refuses and actually threw her purse on the seat well of the car, gives him $200 cash and basically says, go away. >> reporter: initially the woman refused to file a report, but months later after the double rs she came forward and gave police a description of the suspect. it matched that of jane's carjacker to a "t". >> this is why this case is so interesting and so frustrating, because the actions of the perpetrator on this date totally are inconsistent with his actions on other dates. >> then, of course, after this the second date there's a firestorm of criticism of the boca raton pd, if they had only known about august, if they had put up signs, mother and daughter would never have gone to the mall that day. is that a fair critism? >> i believe that our response to the august case was swift and it was thorough. we put it out to the mall and we
9:50 pm
put it out to the media. so, no, i really don't think it's a valid criticism. however, hind siesight being 20 if we could have done anything to alleviate what haned to nancy and joey, you've got to believe ubwwould h dveone it. >> reporter: the mall killer task force has sent its investigative work on to the fbi behavioral science unit, so-called profilers for a psychological portrait of what makes this perpetrator tick. >> it does give us a fresh set of eyes to look at the case. >> we had our veteran of the same fbi unit set eyes on the case, too. he wanted to talk to jane doe and check out the crime scene. coming up -- a new theory and a new twist. >> you have no idea how difficult thatw was to her.a that's like a double murder to me.
9:51 pm
9:52 pm
9:53 pm
when my son saw the sketch on the tv, he said, that man. so he knows what happened. >> reporter: what kind of man kidnaps women, terrorizes children, sometimes kills, sometimes doesn't? what goes on in the brain of the man in the fishing hat and the wrap-arounds? we asked our colleague, former fbi agent clint van zant, whae
9:54 pm
makes of the ongoing investigation. van zs ant was with the profilers when it first started. he's an nbc news analyst. >> clint, this is the entrance and exit where the security camera sees two of the victims coming out. >> yeah. >> reporter: we drove to the upscale town center mall in boca rat raton. on any given day there was a given 35,000 shoppers for the killer to choose from. >> your idea of a hunting ground, the mall, put me in the head of a perpetrator. >> this is the place to come and find it all. >> reporter: van zant also spent two hours debriefing jane, the only woman carjacked by the killer who lived to talk about it. >> i just tried to talk to him like he was just a regular person, maybe try to relate to him in some way. >> i think that's what really saved you in this situation. >> reporter: the elaborate paraphernalia he brought with him, dime store handcuffs, swimmiswi
9:55 pm
swimming going eligibles prepped as blackout masks suggested that we were in psycho path country in trying to understand him. >> it seems to me after the atm you go from a scary incidnt to absolutely horrifying when he gets out his bag of tricks. >> there's something unique about those cuffs for him, whether it's ritualistic about it, whether that means something psychologically to him, but his signature aspect, just like picasso signing a painting, the signature says, this is unique to me. >> reporter: but remember that unique bag of tricks was absent in the randi gorenberg case. she was the only victim who wasn't blindfolded or handcuffed and that critical difference, what van zant calls the killer's signature, has caused investigators two years on to rethink their theory of the case. maybe the gorenberg murder is not related to the jane doe or bocicio cases at all. >at this point, we have not been able to forensically link the gorenberg case to the other
9:56 pm
incidents. >> no link even though gorenberg like the other two was last seen at the small before she was carjacked and last december police release a new theory about the gorenberg case. a lead that could put randi's husband stuart gorenberg in the picture. perhaps as the true intended victim that day. police say they've learned he was seeing prostitutes before his wife's murder. cruising the family's black mercedes gl through some of the seedier streets of nearby broward county. investigators theorize that maybe some toughs also living in that neighborhood spotted this fancy suv coming and going and decided to tail him home one day with the idea of a future rip-off in mind. >> it may be possible that he was a target, that somebody may have followed him, knew where he lived, and maybe he was the intended victim that day but randi happened to be driving the mercedes-benz. >> reporter: a theory that suggests robbery, but if that killer take only randi's purse, leaving behind a valuable
9:57 pm
cartier watched and a diamond pendant? it's only a working theory and investigators acknowledge problems with it. a woman mistaken for a man. maybe it was something botched and hurried. >> if he was the intended target -- again, just an investigative theory -- it was just a crime of opportunity at that point. she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. >> reporter: when randi gorenberg's mother heard the police say that the killer or killers may have actually been after her son-in-law rather than her daughter, it was hanother hammer blow to the family. >> you have no idea to know how difficult that was to hear, the fact that someone else may have been the target and not my daughter. that's like a double murder to me. >> reporter: stuart gorenberg's attorney responds that the allegation of his client seeing prostitutes is baseless and while the police may be floating this theory to generate leads, the tactic hasn't+mk
9:58 pm
appeared to be heading in different locatis. >> reporter: boca raton pd has only one full-time detective working the case getting colder and colder. >> it hurts. makes me feel that, you know, they are giving up or at least before palm beach county and boca raton were working
9:59 pm
together, i felt there was more manpower. >> reporter: at nancy bocicio's house, time has been frozen back to that day in december 2007. joanne bruno has preserved her sister's house just as it was when nancy and her 7-year-old daughter left to go christmas shopping at the mall. joanne goes over to the house a few times a week to feel nancy's warmth, to think about joey's smile, and to grve all over again. >> i promised my sister, before she was buried, that i wouldn't give up and i won't. i just pray to god every day that before i leave this earth that they catch him. the one thing i need, that he's caught. >> i can't imagine anyonine ini coming up with a profile that would suggest anything other than the killer is probably still out there and fully capable of doing this again. >> reporter: meanwhile, jane has gone on with her life but not
10:00 pm
without looking over her shoulder sometimes. >> i would like to see him get caught. i'd like to be able to look in his eyes, you know, to see who this person was that did this to me and that did this to nancy and joey. >> reporter: for now, he's still only a sketch and a lifetime of horrifying memories. >> jane doe has sued the owners of the town center mall and so are have the families of randi gorenberg and nancy bocicio. the lawsuits allege the mall didn't have adequate security in place. the owners deny those allegations saying that the mall was and is a safe place and that now there are surveillance cameras in place in the parking lots. you you can find out more information on our website and dates line.msnbc.com. for nine years it was a puzzle. what had happened to an admired and worldly woman who had come to america for a fresh start? she left her old life behind so when she vanished suddenly from her home, her circle of friends
10:01 pm
wondered, had she left this new life behind as well? now investigators say that's exactly what someone wanted them to think. here's keith morrison. >> reporter: it was a friday afternoon in august 1999 on a long, narrow strip beach. it was a good time to be alive, good time to be in real estate, too. jeff and his family had been in real estate for over 30 years, sending the snowbird haven here in tampa. jeff runs the office now and on this particular friday afternoon he was getting ready for one of his signature beach barbecues. kichh he e not only enjoyed. it helped attract and retain his excellent team of agents. >> it was a small, close-knit
10:02 pm
family. we would have office get-togethers and happy hours and the whole team would come through. we'd do beach parties, cookouts, those type of picnics. >> reporter: one of these agents had a particularly interesting background. a diplomat's ex-wife, rosemary christi christiansen. a fellow agent was impressed by her formal style. >> she was the type of person shth nylons with .shtsor e would have to have her nails done. >> reporter: but reserved, standoffish? oh, no. roses mary was warm, unfailingly friendly. >> one of the types that you wish with you had about a hundred of. great personality, very loving, very thoughtful will, very caring, very empathetic. >> reporter: her 20 years of diplomatic practice perhaps, her worldly experience. rosemary was born in australia but traveled the globe on the arm of her husband, a respected member of the dutch forgn service. >> she was a true lady.
10:03 pm
>> reporter: rosemary met this woman soon after she arrived in florida. >> she definitely had that air about her. it was an air of taking care of others and, you know, being the best hostess and things like that. >> reporter: a white-gloved existence, the sort of life outsiders envied. even if inside it was not so splendid after all. how much did she tell you about that former life of hers? >> not a whole lot. i just knew that it wasn't a real happy one. she was pretty lonely. >> reporter: even so, why would she leave not just her husband but the two young sons they shared, abandon the travel, the parties, the social cache for the uncertain rewards of hawking florida real estate? >> she just wanted to get out on her own. she really hadn't done a lot of jobs from what i understood. she was married and had kids and everything. then when she left, she just didn't know what to do. >> reporter: trapped in a life
10:04 pm
that felt more like a prison, drawn by independence and the florida sun, and, yes, the promise of a second chance at love. rosemary had a cybersuitor. >> she met this robert guy online, and he had e-mailed her that he was this top-secret fbi agent and had these houses all over the place. she arranged to come to the states to meet him. >> reporter: robert temple was the suitor, one meeting with him and she took the leap. to florida. >> she was definitely in love with him in the beginning. >> reporter: he was, for one thing, the opposite of all she had known in that other life of hers. >> he had tattoos. he rode a motorcycle. >> i didn't see how those two personalities would kind of come together, but you know opposites attract sometimes. that's what probably was the case here. >> reporter: the two were married in 1997. >> she was so into robert.
10:05 pm
robert, robert, robert, you know. she just was robert. >> reporter: her sons occasional little came to visit her here in florida, but her marriage to their diplomat father was forever past. and now it was, as we said, that friday afternoon in august. it was the eve of the company beach party. >> rosemary was bringing some of the supplies and was always there early to set up. >> reporter: rosemary had told co-workers she would drop into the office friday afternoon to pick up a bowl for the next day's event. >> they kind of called me and said, you know, rosemary still hasn't gotten this bowl of potato salad. what do we do? i said, she'll show up. don't worry about it. >> reporter: but saturday morning as the preparations for the party began, rosemary again uncharacteristically shirked her duties. >> she didn't show up. >> reporter: so they phoned her. more than once. no answer. no rosemary.
10:06 pm
>> we knew when she didn't show that something must have been wrong. that was definitely out of her character. >> reporter: rosemary was never late. she always stayed in touch. here it was getting later and no rosemary. how late was she before you began to worry? >> it was a good hour and a half, two hours. that's when we got a little concerned and said we need to figure out what might have happened. >> reporter: jeff and rosemary's other friends felt quite suddenly they already knew. rosemary christianson had left them. >> deep down inside i knew something had happened to her, that she was gone. >> reporter: but what none of them knew was where or how or why. coming up -- >> carpet missing, different paint on the wall. something certainly was not right. >> reporter: clues to the mystery and a distraught new husband. >> i just want her back. please, if anybody has seen her,
10:07 pm
pl i'll clean the pool if you clean the windows. pick the windows, pick the windows... - anythingut the windows. - deal. oh! new windex outdoor all-in-one -- cleans outdoor glass fast. just spray with water, wipe with a windex cleaning pad, and rinse for a streak-free shine in half the time. - she pulled a fast one. ( laughing ) - you're done? new windex outdoor all-in-one. a streak-free shine in half the time. save $2.50 with coupon when you go to windexoutdoor.com. s.c. johnson, a family company. it was tough news to hear. everything changed.
10:08 pm
i didn't know what to do. right about then, our doctor mentioned the exelon patch. he said it releases medicine continuously for 24 hours. he said it could help with her cognition which includes things like memory, reasoning, communicating and understanding. (announcer) the most common side effects of exelon patch are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. the likelihood and severity of these side effects may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers or who take certain other medicine should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems, such as bleeding may worsen. mom's diagnosis was hard to hear, but there's something i can do. (announcer) ask your doctor about the exelon patch. visit exelonpatch.com to learn more.
10:09 pm
edcal' c.a.r.s. or cash for clunkers. - ( car being crushed ) offering up to $00ca toward a new car with an eligible trade-in. plus, toyota is offering factory incentives omany models for even more savings. with toyota being the most dependable and fuel-efficient car company in america, i's no wder 25 models in the toyota family qualify. so hurry in to your toyota dealer today.
10:10 pm
rosemary christiansen was reliable to the core, a fine example of the diplomat's wife, even though that's a life she had rejected. so when she failed to appear for the company beach party, failed to return countless phone calls, a pall huck over the gathering. something had to be wrong. the next day a search party was formed to knock on the door of the condo where rosemary lived with her husband robert. >> all the drapes were drawn so we could not look in the windows. her car was there, his motorcycle was there. that's when i thought something really bad has happened here. >> reporter: the police came then. they entered the apartment, had a look around. osemary's anxious friends waed outside. >> thisartular point, we're keshed about her welfare, her location and her safety. >> reporter: and her husband, robert? he seemed to have disappeared as
10:11 pm
well. in the condo police found an affectionate note from him to her explaining that he had gone to visit relatives for a few days. jeff baigens and the others seemed to have no further recourse except to worry. and as one day became two, their worry deepened. >> as the day progressed and the night progressed and the next day progressed, there was definitely something wrong. we with all began to get worried. >> reporter: the disappearance of a woman so respected in the community soon attracted local media. reporter mark douglas was put on the story. >> her friends are putting out missing person posters and her husband, whom she lived with, was nowhere in sight for days and days. >> reporter: and then, just as suddenly as he disappeared, robert temple returned, several days later, mystified and worried about rosemary. >> he had taken a trip just before she disappeared and said he was in indiana visiting relatives. so the day he returned clearly
10:12 pm
there was a great interest in talking to him. and then he consented to come spe with us and sat down around the pool and proceeded to tell us his story. >> i miss her so bad. >> one of angst, one of sadness. >> rose and i haven't been apart this long since we've been married. i love my wife. i just want her back. please, if anybody has seen rose, knows where she's at, please just tell her -- just call. >> reporter: temple maintained that while he was sad that his wife had suddenly left as she did, he was sure there was a simple explanation. >> she ran away with someone else. >> he must have had a reason for saying this. >> mr. temple came back with a disclosure that he and his wife were swingers who lived an alternative lifestyle. >> reporter: rosemary christiansen the diplomat's wife a promiscuous swinger?
10:13 pm
nothing robert said could have been a bigger surprise or for rosemary's friends more upsetting. >> it pisss me off that anybody would say something about that like her. >> why would it make you so mad? >> because she's just not that type of person. >> how do you know? >> because i know. i've been with her. i've had drinks with her. i've had two glasses of wine. two glasses of wine. no more. she was my babysitter. >> but can you ever really know a person? maybe rosemary's christiansen's exterior had been a disguise behind which she kept secrets from her friends at work. >> the theory that he presented that she was a swinger who met people online was somewhat plausible. i believe his end of it was plausible that he was a swinger. he even suggested that she might have gone back to australia because either she had done it once before or threatened to do
10:14 pm
it. >> reporter: well, yes, she had left a life before whe she came to florida. but had she simply walked out again? >> rosemary's friends tried to stay optimistic. >> maybe she had a problem at home. maybe she just went to days appear and collect her thoughts. those were with the positive thoughts we were having at the time. >> reporter: but just in case,r investigator who dug around and then said the condo provided interesting clues. not so much clues really as questions. rosemary's cell phone, for example. >> when the police went in, they found her cell phone on the counter. rosemary always had her cell phone with her. she never was without it. >> reporter: there was more, too, as the detective looked around. odd things. like, for example, some very unusual alterations. >> carpet missing, different paint coverings on the wall, something certainly was not
10:15 pm
right at that point. >> reporter: why would someone remove carpet over a concrete floor or paint over part of a wall and then leave? and leave behind, by the way, a strip of paper on which was written -- well, the detective fod the content very fed wuno l >> we found a list of ingredients that could be used to clean up, shall we say, a homicide scene, different types of cleaning materials. flowery scents, things like that. >> reporter: it seemed a little creepy, yet it could have been perfectly innocent. somebody stocking up on cleaning supplies. and rosemary's husband had a perfectly simple reason for those purchases. >> mr. temple was so distraught, supposedly, after his wife turned up missing that he went on a cleaning frenzy in his house. as an ct of stress relief. >> reporter: as for that missing carpet? temple said he had cut a piece
10:16 pm
from the bedroom floor because sometime earlier -- >> she tripped and fell, cut her knee. >> reporter: and bled on the carpet and they couldn't get the stain out. and now she left him. >> we're like any other couple. we have our arguments and ups and downs. but everything was fine. >> reporter: despite his profession of innocence, temple as rosemary's husband would traditionally be high on the list of usual suspects in her disappearance. still, police didn have any real physical evidence against him. >> all of his explanations had just enough plausibility to keep him out of handcuffs. >> reporter: weeks went by. still no word from rosemary. her friend s handed out flyers, her boss offered a reward. nothing tangible. though one bit of information did come up and it posed a whole new set of questions not about rosemary but about the man she
10:17 pm
had been married to. >> we found out that he had actually been arrested years before in a previous marriage in the death of a child. >> reporter: coming up -- another surprise about new husband robert. >> rosemary went to the work un >> reporter: someone else was about to enter the picture.
10:18 pm
10:19 pm
it's the chevy open house. and now, with the cash for clunkers program, a great deal gets even better. let us recycle your older vehicle, and you could qualify for an additional $3500 or $4500 cash back... on top of all other offers.. on a new, r e fuel efficient chevy. your chevy dealer has more eligible models to choose from - more than ford, toyota, or hda . so save gas... and money... now during the chevy open house. go to chevy.com for details. the object approaching it is your hand. observe the differences closely. because when juicy, 100% angus beef is involved,
10:20 pm
the lines can become blurred. notice that the angus third pounder is bursting... with a bevy of toppings that make it virtually irresis-- whoa, close o. angus axiom number 16: don't bite the hand that feeds you. the astonishing new angus third pounders. all angus. all mcdonald's. ♪ ba da ba ba ba
10:21 pm
the disappearance of rosemary christiansen was shocking enough. after all, she didn't seem to be the sort of woman who suddenly r runs off without some sort of reason. but then there were more shocks, her husband's explanation that she was a secret swinger and had probably taken off with another man. no one would find any evidence of that. and then there was news about robert temple himself. he had a past. >> he had a history back in california involving a child, the death of a child. i think it was an 18-month-old child of his girlfriend who he was eventually convicted of and served time in prison for. >> reporter: it was a long time ago, 1975. a child died of brain injuries after a battering. temple pleaded guilty and served five years for involuntary manslaughter. even though --
10:22 pm
>> he insisted he never harmed that child. >> he kind of put it behind him and got married to this real estate woman. >> moved on, yes. >> who was kind of, well, cleansing in a way for his reputation, i should think. >> almost. but not quite. >> reporter: rosemary's friends found them thinking anew about that odd marriage of hers, the warm, sophisticated woman with her motorcycle man. >> he was the jealous type. >> oh, yeah. oh, yes. yes. very much so. if he knew that we were having lunch or something, he'd show up. he would call all the time at the office if she was showing property, wanting to know wh she was with. when rosemary and i were together, her cell phone would ring incest antly, her beeper would go off. >> it would have driven most women out the door, said her friends. but rosemary -- >> we would ask several times, rosemary, what are you doing? what is in it for you? >> what did she say? >> oh, you just don't understand, you know. you just don't understand. i said, no, i guess we don't.
10:23 pm
>> reporter: but now everyone was trying to understand. especially when it came out that she had married him even after she had accused him of beating her. >> before they gotarried he had been arrested for domestic abuse against his girlfriend. >> against her. >> against her. >> it's an old story, hers no different. rosemary first pressed charges and then withdrew them. >> his explanation was that he was drunk. he tripped coming up the stairs, fell into a door. the door slammed into his girlfriend. rosemary christiansen, another mistaken case that he explained away as not his fault. >> reporter: but around the office, a few old stories that once didn't make sense, now perhaps did. >> we had sales meetings every morning. a couple of times she never showed up and didn't call in. she was never like that. come to find out, she had some beatings from him and didn't want anybody to know and walk into the office with bruises.
10:24 pm
>> reporter: but always the big apology later. he would send her flowers and the girls at the office would with say, well, i guess robert hit rosemary again because she got flowers this week. >> reporter: that seemed to work because they stayed together. >> the only thing that i can even think of that makes any sense is that he always apol xri gisted and promised never to do it again. >> reporter: but then the police discovered that even rosemary, for all her sweet demeanor, was pushed to her limits once. that's when she found out that robert temple had a girlfriend who worked alongside him at a lemarketing center. >> a couple of times evidently her and rosemary had words xtsz one of the stories was that rosemary went to their work and that the girl hid under a desk from her. >> reporter: which perhaps explained why friends had begun to see a new rosemary emerging. a woman who was getting ready to
10:25 pm
move on without him. >> that was the main problem, that he couldn't keep her. she started getting a backbone against him. >> rosemary it turned out had an exit strategy. she had even seen a divorce attorney. but on that attorney's advice she decided she was going to stay with robert for another two months. two months left -- >> her te in the country to get her citizenship. >> reporter: rosemary, remember, was australian. she wanted u.s. citizenship, a goal she would reach, her lawyer advised her, if she just stayed married two more months. then finally as a citizen she could divorce robert and get on with her life. she revealed her plan to her friend laurel but not to husband robert. >> she had decided that rather than confront robert and let him know tt she was getting a divorce, that she -- her exact words to me were, laurel, i'm going to walk on eggshells until this is over.
10:26 pm
>> reporter: so did police move in and arrest robert, charge him with something based on his wife's disappearance? well, no. there was no proof that temple had anything to do with with it. he maintains he had no knowledge whatsoever of her whereabouts and he did what he could to prove his innonce. >> have you offered to take a lie detector test? >> yes. if they wish me to, i will. >> in fact, that never happened. >> why? >> he hired a lawyer and the lawyer said no, we're not going to do that. and that was that. >> reporter: those closest to rosemary christiansen kept up their desperate search, now thoroughly convinced her husband robert temple knew exactly what happened because he did it. whatever it was, he must have. >> the thing that went in my mind is, oh, my god, she went home and said she wanted a divorce and he killed her. that's what i thought had
10:27 pm
happened. >> reporter: it was a soap opera. people couldn't get enough of this story. as with any story, a few months of no news and public interest waned. >> i was constantly surveilling the condo to see what was going on. >> reporter:just that small group of friends maintained their vigil, watching robert temple, watching his every move. most days, many nights, month after month. then one day -- >> when the truck showed up and he started emptying out the condo -- >> a rental truck. >> a rental truck. we watched him load it up. >> reporter: temple was leaving town, and he wasn't leaving alone. >> robert temple and his girlfriend, leslie stuart, left town for parts unknown. >> reporter: coming up -- a warning to leslie. did she know what happened to rosemary? and was she possibly in nger? >> the detectives spoke with leslie stuart and said, someday
10:28 pm
you'll be next.
10:29 pm
10:30 pm
10:31 pm
when real estate broker rosemary christiansen suddenly vanished, it was so out of character that her friends soon began to fear the worst. >> i said, something's wrong. that's when i knew something bad had happened. >> and then the months went by
10:32 pm
and they heard nothing from roses mary at all. they were convinced husband robert temple knew more than he would say. he seemed off, always had. all of those times she showed up hiding bruises while he behaved like a stalker. yes, they were suspicious and yes, they were spying on him a e condo. >> i'm hiding in thee parking lot. >> reporter: that's how they saw temple and his new girlfriend loading up a van and heading out of town. >> they got in rosemary's car and i followed them across the causeway. >> reporter: this friend was on her phone with police as she followed them. >> you're talking to the cops. >> they know he's leaving. >> what did they say? >> there was nothing they could do. they had nothing to stop him. >> reporter: temple's move did not surprise the investigator. >> iá=ó he got out of sight he would be out of mind. >> reporter: and now here he was not just leaving but apparently co-habiting with a new and much
10:33 pm
younger woman. they found out her name, leslie stuart, and that she was in her 20s, had a child. but that was about it. >> leslie stuart was and is somewhat of an aanythieanything. we knew she had gone on a road trip with him around the time his wife disappeared. >> was she a swinger, too? >> yes. according to him. >> perhaps temple had found a new soulmate and there was nothing anybody could do except offer a warning to young leslie stuart. >> the detectives shared with me that before he left town they spoke with leslie stuart and said, someday you'll be next. >> reporter: they hopscotched across the country, taking odd jobs along the way, until all trace of the pair vash vanished and back in tampa, police and
10:34 pm
rosmary's close friends reached that sad closing chapter of failed searches. they enlisted the paranormal. >> the sheriff's department had their dive team do an exor oef a lake where this psychic h told us that he had a vision that's where her body was. of course, we did not recover a body. >> reporter: even for those most unwilling to give up the search, it was hard to hold out hope anymore. >> the longer it went, it was just more evident that she had met the ill fate of death. >> reporter: even rose dsz mary's sons resigned themselves to a terrible resolution. >> that tells me that she's not alive anymore because she would have contacted us. >> reporter: and so now life went on without rosemary. her sons grew to adulthood without theimo ther. her widower, if as wt'hatth he was, robert temple, was somewhere far away with his much-younger woman and his apparently swinging lifestyle.
10:35 pm
>> when robert temple left town, more or less the story went away. ♪ happy birthday to you >> reporter: as the years went by, her friends once in a while lifted a glass in her memory. >> we have like a little anniversary, you know, drinks for her and stuff. >> here's to rosemary. >> yeah. yeah. >> reporter: sometimes mysteries just don't get solved. rosemary's friends never did believe robert's explanation that she had left him for another man, and there was never any evidence at all to corroborate his wild story that she was a secret swinger. n no. the friends believed she was dead, that she had been from the very day she disappeared. but you where was her body? where was the proof? it didn't exist. and so almost everybody eventually just gave up. almost everybody. >> i knew. i knew he wasn't smart. he wasn't that smart. he wasn't going to g away with
10:36 pm
it. something was going to happen. i just didn't know when with. >> reporter: oh, something happened all right. it was august 2008. it was nine years afr rosemary had disappeed. reporter mark douglas answered his phone and heard on the other end an old friend, a tampa lawyer named jay adair. >> he said, i know what happened to rosemary christiansen and i've known this for nine years. >> coming up -- the mystery of [pe. ance h appearance. t >>s was the heaviest burden i had ever carried. >> reporter: solved at last. olay professional pro-x wrinkle protocol is as effective as the leading wrinkle prescription brand at reducing the look of wrinkles. that's because olay has teamed with a highly specialized group of dermatologists and created a wrinkle protocol that gives you the results of the leading wrinkle prescription brand, without a prescription. olay professional pro-x. this is a guarantee you're guaranteed to love.
10:37 pm
it's my "save-so-much-on- his-graphing-calculator... look. i made it say "booger." ...i-can-get-him-a- math-tutor" button. chool-supplies- he-can-stop-using-his-sister's old-backpack" button.
10:38 pm
it's my "save-so much-i-can-get- a-binder-for-every-day- of-the-week" button. there's no school on saturday and sunday, genius. don't ruin this for me. (announcer) staples equals savings ns don't ruin this for me. staples. that was easy. rabbitate habituate habituate ( mosquitoes buzzing ) mosquitoes? don't soak yourself with a sticky, wet repellent. ( buzzing ) ( boink ) stay dry with off! smooth & dry. its unique powder-dry formula dries on contact. so it's comfortable on your skin -- unlike ordinary repellents. feel the difference with off! family care smooth & dry. wow! feels good on -- ahh... keeps bugs off! ( buzz, swat ) s.c. johnson. a family company.
10:39 pm
five co-workers are working from the road using a mifi, a mobile hotspot that provides up to five shared wifi connections. two are downloading the final final revised final presentation. - one just got an e-mail. - what?! - huh? - it's being revised again. the co-pilot is on mapquest. - ( rock music playing ) - and tom is streaming meeting psych-up music from meltedmetal.com. that's happening now with the new mifi from sprint, the mobile hotspot that fits in your pocket. sprint. the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com.
10:40 pm
>> repoer: the charming rosemary christiansen, real estate broker, had inexplicably disappeared. her husband had moved on with a much younger woman. gradually over nine years, rosemary's friends got used to her being gone forever and they might not even know exactly why. and then, quite suddenly, in the stillheat of august 2008, a startling development. robert temple's longtime girlfriend was talking and what she said was horrific. reporter mark douglas broke the story. >> leslie stuart had taken investigators and prosecutors to the scene of rosemary's
10:41 pm
christians christiansen's grave somewhere near the suwanee river. they dug where she told them and they found her body. >> reporter: all these years her body had been lying in a swampy grave on property belonging to leslie stuart's own father in northern florida. although according to leslie her father never knew what was buried on his land. >> inside some sort of plastic container? >> yes. the same container purchased at walmart nine years before that. >> the news of the grisly discovery spread rapidly through the community of rosemary's loyal friends and their reaction? horror, yes, but also -- >> it's very weird to say i was elated. i was so happy to know that it was finally, finally over. >> reporter: everyone wanted justice for rosemary, but who exactly was to blame? what did they do to her?
10:42 pm
and why did this woman, leslie stuart, suddenly reappear talking? here is the amazing and to some profoundly disturbing answer. a tampa attorney named jay herbert had known and kept the secret the whole nine years, a secret he could now reveal to everyone. >> this was the heaviest burden i had ever of car carried. >> reporter: leslie stuart told him the whole story not long before she and robert temple skipped down. but he was prevented by attorney/client privilege from whispering a word. >> it was an oath that i took that lawyers across the country take and we would hope that our clients when they come to talk to us about a situation realize and recognize that what they tell us is going to remain confidential. >> reporter: so herbert could do precisely nothing with the information. leslie could have revealed it all herself, of course, but --
10:43 pm
>> she was convinced by robert not to come forwardy the authorities. >> did you say to her at the time, you've got to go to the police, you've got to tell them what happened? >> absolutely. but in this situation leslie was scared. >> reporter: and so, as rosemary's friends puzzled and fumed, leslie ran off with robert, eventually settled out west with him, had a baby with him, a daughter, and kept the awful secret all those years. and then an opportunity, a trip away from robert, gave her the physical and emotional distance she need ed. >> ultimately it was when she was able to break away, go to a family reunion that was set up outside the state of california and washington state. >> that's when she phoned herbert and he put her with the police and they flew her back to florida. where finally she gave herbert permission to reveal what she had told him in confidence nine years before. it was the night rosemary went
10:44 pm
missing. leslie was 22. she had been having an affair with temple. >> she got several frantic phone calls and messages from robert saying, please come over. please come as soon as possible. >> reporter: at the condo, temple led leslie into his bedroom. >> they discovered rosemary laying on the floor, wrapped in a black comono-style robe and obviously was not breathing and there was quite a bit of blood. >> reporter: temple insisted it had been a dreadful accident that grew out of some kind of altercation. >>rosemary kept a knife to keep a stalker away. she came up on robert and poked him in the back of the head with the butt end of the knife and somehow there was some type of struggle and,according to robert, she fell on the knife. you know, there were with apparently multiple stab wounds one may have been an entry wound and one an exit wound. >> fell on a knife five times.
10:45 pm
>> yes. >> reporter: according to leslie, temple told her no one would believe it was an accident so she helped him clean up, then watched as he hatched a carefully thought-out series of lies and coverups to explain rosemary's disappearance. >> he decided he was going to start covering up this homicide by creating this charade of rosemary disappearing on the internet with swingers. >> reporter: lesley said they packed up rosemary's things to make it look like she suddenly decided to leave of her own accord. >> they spread these items all over the area in dumpsters. they wouldn't put all of it in one dumpster so if it was found it might be pieced together. >> reporter: so then she helped him bury the body. >> she did. >> reporter: and nine years later herbert passed the dreadful details on to reporter douglas. >> they stuffed her body into this large rubbermaid type plastic bin and both of them put it in the back of an suv and
10:46 pm
drove north. she says that her and robert temple buried the body while her father stayed inside his house, presumably unaware of what they were doing. >> reporter: but why? why would she help him do all this? and then keep the secret for nine years? >> young, naive, easily influenced by a man that she looked up to that exerted some power and control over her. >> reporter: whatever bound her to temple, the ties began to unrav unravel. living with him, she became increasingly concerned for her safety. according to leslie, temple had recently threatened to kill both her and her daughter if she ever told the truth. >> i think that leslie had put up with enough at that point. >> reporter: finally, in august of 2008, alone at that family reunion, she called herbert. >> she disclosed over the phone that she had been threatened and a knife was pulled on her, law
10:47 pm
enforcement then thought the quickest, fastest way to get robert temple into custody would be to contact the folks in redding, california, and suggest to them that a crime had been committed. robert was then arrested in redding where they were living. >> reporter: leslie stuart was finally ready to tell everything she knew, and she knew plenty. but was it true? >> because there are two sides to this story. >> this is the golddigger. >> reporter: now in custody, leslie's lover, robert temple, had his own and very different version of events. >> she said, ey're never going to believe it. they're never going to believe it. how are you going to explain me being here andñ) the floor? >> reporte coming up -- >> we have two people here who know what happened. both of them are liars. now, one of them is telling the truth and the question is, which one?
10:48 pm
(brooke) i couldn't survive without advice from my go to people.
10:49 pm
for the health of my mouth, i trust my dentist who recommends colgate total.
10:50 pm
(announcer) colgate total actively fights germs for 12 hours - that makes it an easy choice. (announcer) colgate total. #1 recommended most by dentists and hygienists. the object approaching it is your hand. observe the differences closely. because when juicy, 100% angus beef is involved, the lines can become blurred. notice that the angus third pounder is bursting... with a bevy of toppings that make it virtually irresis-- whoa, close one. angus axiom number 16:
10:51 pm
don't bite the hand that feeds you. the astonishing new angus third pounders. all angus. all mcdonald's. ♪ ba da ba ba ba gov chauf gorbachev >> reporter: it's flat and hot,
10:52 pm
and the mini malls stretch for miles in all directions from the county jail that houses the man accused of killing rosemary christiansen, robert temple. put here courtesy of leslie t,ar yuhe toung woman who cereplahed rosemary in robert's bed. but robert claimed he had a surprise of his own in store. he didn't kill rosemary. he simply helped leslie cover up the crime she herself committed. and from his cell he started talking, too. >> i didn't call the police and that was the worst thing i -- i'm not going to lie. i was scared. that was the biggest mistake i ever made in my life. >> reporter: oh, he freely arranged he arranged a meeting with his girlfriend. the plan was to meet at the condo he shared with his wife. but when he arrived -- >> as i went around the building, leslie is coming out my front door and she's white as a ghost. white as a sheet. >> reporter: and when he went into the condo, he said, imagine his shock when he found his
10:53 pm
wife's body sprawled on the bedroom floor. >> her blood in her hair, on her face. i'm yelling at her to wake up. >> reporter: this was the real story, said temple. rosemary came home unexpectedly, found leslie waiting in the condo, and in a fury ordered her to leave. >> she said she grabbed rose and they started struggling and pulling hair she thought rose had knocked herself out because she wasn't moving anymore. but when she got up she saw the knife sticking in rose. >> it was a hunting knife. she must have fallen on it. must have been an accident. horrible, he said, of course, but he couldn't have known what happened, couldn't have preve prevented it. he wasn't even there. >> he got up topall the to god i did.wear >> reporter: he would have done the right thing and called for help, he said, he really would have, but his girlfriend stopped him. >> leslie grabbed me and put her
10:54 pm
arms around me and started crying, saying how they're going to take her child away, blah, blah, blah, that rose was dead already. >> he says that she convinced him that no one would ever believe that he was not the killer because of his past. the manslaughter conviction, the abuse arrest. she convinced him, he says, that he would always be the focus of blame no matter how much he tried to convince everybody that she had accidentally killed his wife. >> reporter: and so temple now claimed he helped young leslie plan the coverup, took part reluctantly with grief in his heart and respect for his poor dead wife. >> i bought the biggest plastic tub i could think of to put her in. i decided if we're going to bury her i'm not going toust throw dirt on her or anything. i was going to try to make it as
10:55 pm
dignified as i could. i put -- she had a favorite pillow that she liked. it was a little decorative thing. she always kept it on the bed. i gave her a pillow. >> reporter: he cleaned the apartment, he said, and then he got into the passenger's seat while leslie took charge. leslie took the wheel and drove off to find a burial site. >> he wanted to take his wife, he says, to georgia to a place in the woods that she always loved because he wanted to do that one last thing for her. >> reporter: he fell asleep as she drove, he said. when he woke up, they were in north florida. >> they were pulling into her father's ropy,rtpe unbeknownst to him because that was not his plan. >> reporter: then to keep him in the dark, to make him vulnerable, to protect their own skins, leslie and her father buried the body on the property without telling temple exactly where they put it. >> now i realized that the only reason she had her dad help her bury it is because i wouldn't
10:56 pm
know where rose was at so i couldn't turn around and snitch on her later. >> reporter: so of course he had to do something to protect himself. that's where he finally found the presence of mind to set up his own alibi. >> nine years ago when they presented him with the shopping list and the video at walmart showing him buying that container, they said, aha, mr. temple, exactly where is that container? and he showed them because during that road trip he stopped in tallahassee, i believe, and purchased an identical one so that he could have something to present to them when they asked. >> reporter: now in jail, robert began a sort of private pr campaign. he sprivg elled his accusations against leslie, his version of the story, through long, convoluted letters, sent them off to lawyer herbert, reporter douglas, even rosemary's friends
10:57 pm
rosemary caught her and they had fight and that's when rosemary fell on her knife. it was really bizarre. i read it and put it down and had to have al gofass wine. i picked itas back up again, i' like, did i just read this? and read it again. >> reporter: yes, robert was true to rosemary, heartbroken by her death. leslie was the villain. leslie was no rose. >> i loved rose and even if we were to have separated i would still love rose. but i would have never stopped rose from leaving me. i wouldn't -- you couldn't give nd leslie, reporter: and leslie meanwhile, though she designed our interview request, continues to claim that her version of rosemary's death is the real one. still, there it was, one crime, two stories, his and hers. hutit witne with obvious ge fan. inchxange for her story, leslie stuart was grantedull immunity from prosecution. >> i'm not saying that leslie is
10:58 pm
a perfect young lady. i'm saying that in this situation the puppetmaster that was and is robert temple was in control of everything she was doing. >> if you believe him, she's a lady mcbeth, a manipulator. if you believe her, he's the manipulator. is he an innocent man falsely accused? or is he just trying to cover up whahe really did? >> we have two people here who know what happened. both of them are liars. they both told lies. now one of them is telling the truth and the question is, which one? >> maybe they're still lying. >> perhaps. >> both of them. temple pleaded not guilty for murder. they haven't set a date for his trial just yet. but whenever it is, rosemary will be well represented, the visitors gallery will be full.
10:59 pm
>> what goes around comes around. you know what? it's called karma. >> rosemary christiansen left a life full of travel and style and sophistication to reinvent herself on the sandy shores of the florida gulf coast. where robert glen temple became her mate and one day soon he'll face the charge that he was also the architect of her fate. >> you can hear more from the friends and co-workers of rosemary christiansen on our website, dateline.msnbc.com. and that's all for this edition of "dateline friday." see you again sunday at 7/6

258 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on